Dear Mudge, Complacency

Dear Mudge,

Does complacency equate to surrender?

In acquiescence do we relinquish a piece of ourselves to the other side? Is compromise a sign of weakness, or wisdom?

I hear your 2019 summer campaign to battle your own existential apathy, which you overwhelmingly won in the completion of your self-made challenge to document, as a sirens call to a muse I’ll never understand—the Canadian teen-com “Fifteen”, has afforded you some well earned, if unexpected, adulation from various members of the cast of that ignominious cavalcade of petulant pulchritude. Congratulations.

I mention your Quixotic pursuit as you, in contrast to my opening statement, most certainly did not give up in the throes of self-doubt and a certain bet against you (your $1000 remains a debt you may still collect provided you adhere to aforementioned stipulations).

And as I mention your triumph, I can’t help but consider our recent epistolary exchange and how we both appeared to have come to the conclusion that living at the “N’th” level was untenable. And that at least the N-1 level must be embraced in order to not dwell in a perpetual, self-induced living hell.

If what I’ve read on your NFTA blog is indication, I would applaud your expansion of N-1 and hope to read of your pursuits along that vein.

I did, however, begin this treatise with another point in mind regarding complacency. One I hope that, were you to once again take up the pen, you might apply in Ningun 2.0, which is, specifically, writers can never let their characters enjoy a drop of extended comfort.

Dorothy can never, truly, feel comfortable while she travels the lands of OZ. Luke may never enjoy perpetual peace. Frodo must forever endure an unrestful soul. Alice cannot be allowed to put her feet up and take a weekend off. Harry’s Christmas platitudes are mere lozenges dosed with laudanum designed to lure us into languid, lazy lassitude in preparation for the next heavy Hagrid-boot drop.

Briefly, we can never let our characters rest. Readers must feel compelled to turn the page to learn what calamity awaits our hero. Constant, relentless trepidation must permeate our writing. This technique dominates my thoughts as I continue writing on my next major novel effort.

In contrast, for our actual lives, I wish you nothing but placid, Avon waters serenity, dragonflies and water-skippers, ribbon ripples and pareidolian paradolian clouds drifting through your country-picnic days of 2020.

Best in the coming year,
‘Mole

DantesHell
That’s you and me at N-1

37 thoughts on “Dear Mudge, Complacency

  1. PH once recommended I read an author–Richard someone–funny hat, looked like a hillbilly–who wrote cute, “simple” stories, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and eventually committed suicide. Ihave to recheck my book list to find his full name. Apophenia brings this to mind. Perhaps PH has a personal interest in this subject. Just curious, that’s all. It’s a recurring theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, Goddammit. If we’re going to use $5 words, let’s spell them correctly. Someone like me, with at least a cosmic radio case of apophenia, might see the presence of GF, who has yet to decide upon or at least introduce into his dictionary a consistent spelling for Lazuhtur, combined all this imperfect grandiloquence as substantive proof of collusion to commit intentional drivel. Or at least the frilly sort of Hallmark Moment cards.

    Commendable to write whimsy and drivel. Some of our best ideas come from that well. Commendable as well to experience a vision of the Virgin Mother burned into a pizza cheese bubble. Pareidolia. I fuck up with typos all the time, but in the quest to produce stuffy, bombastic vacuous wordsmithing one should at least consult the dictionary. You are now returned to your regularly scheduled program.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m calm and collected. It’s the ei, not the a I was after. I know a LOT of really excellent guitarists who think they can play “Stairway to Heaven.” Like “Jump” for keyboard players. The problem is most of them can’t. They play “sounds like” those tunes. We’re all in this “sounds like” writing bus. My point is let’s not make it any worse than it has to be!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jesus! PH occupies no space in my consciousness, yet he’s obsessed with me. Go figure. Anyway, I emailed you my gmail address. If unreceived, I’ll post it on of your blogs. I’ll find a post so deeply buried within WP that only YOU will receive it. I wouldn’t want someone stalking my private email account and emailing trashy comments. Sheesh. Lazuhtur. Funny tho! He noticed! Christ! I crack myself up every time I misspell the name, as does the actual Lazuhtur when he reads it. As if it made a difference! PH rants are starting to amuse me…Maybe if he were published…but even then…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave,
    Comment on your Dear Mudge Complacency
    Great writing here and spot on truth for us readers to stay engage, to care, to hope and worry that it all works in the end for the hero/heroine.

    “Briefly, we can never let our characters rest. Readers must feel compelled to turn the page to learn what calamity awaits our hero. Constant, relentless trepidation must permeate our writing. This technique dominates my thoughts as I continue writing on my next major novel effort.”
    Friendly wishes well said

    “In contrast, for our actual lives, I wish you nothing but placid, Avon waters serenity, dragonflies and water-skippers, ribbon ripples and paradolian clouds drifting through your country-picnic days of 2020. ”

    May we all be so fortunate.
    Mike

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Much more of these pleonastic, lugubrious meditations painted in shades of melancholy to lachrymose and you will be fined for exceeding the limit of $5 words and useless circular supporting phrases. Reading you lately and GF on the same page is a moment in the literary dungeon. I know how Bambi felt on the ice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One is allowed to do both, you know. Wax and wane whimsically, pointlessly, and still put words on paper, elsewhere, that might meet your regimen. I’m getting ready to pressure you to read some dialog on ShadowShoals, but without a drop of context, it would lose its impact.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Dialog should be good enough that the context becomes irrelevant. The conversation could be lifted as a scene beyond greater context. Even a couple of paragraphs. You buy it or not. In fact a good measure of how it stands is to strip it of all ‘splainin’, tags, adverbs…characters voices should tell you who and how they are. Three to seven or so words description helps. Hammett and MacDonald excel at that. Leonard often describes who they are. Either way a subliminal expectation is set. A thick set, bosomy loud, pinkish woman with too yellow hair, all wrapped in a loose fitting green kimono

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Or a recently paroled car booster named Lontavian with a fro like a Byzantine Madonna’s halo, a constant weed buzz and a collection of high top Converses in more colors than a box of crayons. Or you can work those in instead of tags. Which will drive revealing comments that open conversation.
          Damn motherfucker. Pink Chucks? Da fuck you doin’, comin’ in here, dat shit on your feet?
          Pink Connie’s my statement for the day an I got no time for your big bad nigga shit. You want the Lincoln or you wanna continue to dis my fashion sense and get a good look at my sweet ass hittin’ the door?
          You high?
          I burned one with Sheila. Why, you dry?
          No…Little early, ain’t it?
          How you know it ain’t a little late? Lincoln?
          We know who, we know there’s a probably hot Lincoln involved, they both know Sheila, they both have half a deal…and we haven’t got a clue about two of the three. Hills Like White Elephants. Hemingway, Hammett, Leonard. Make it work with nothing but convo.

          Like

  5. I’m under the illusion that I am getting to know my characters and the story is flowing faster and easier. Not sure if it comes across in the writing, but it’s a good illusion to have if I am to continue on…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Speaking of complacency, I’m overdue for an update. If I miss one, I can feel the story draining from my consciousness like water leaks from a pot with a small hole. Might get up at 3:00 to crank it out. But then again…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s